The Bookstore in the Grove, a 10-year-old community gathering spot in the heart of Miami’s Coconut Grove, may be headed for a new chapter.
The shop, which has an organic kitchen on the premises, was expected to close on June 18. However, owner Felice Dubin said she has been in discussions with a potential new owner to take over the store, at 3390 Mary St., inside the Mayfair in the Grove building.
In the meantime, it remains open, with most books priced at 30 percent off.
At age 68, Dubin wants to retire and spend more time with her 2-year-old granddaughter. “And, hopefully, I will have more [grandchildren],” she said.
“To me, the bookstore means a place of community. It’s for the kids. It’s for the parents. It’s for the students. It’s for everyone,” said Dubin, a former member of the Coconut Grove Village Council who opened the store to foster a sense of community in the neighborhood. “It’s a great place, but I have to retire. I need to take care of me.”
Dubin said she would stay until June 30, with the potential new owner taking over July 1.
Longtime customers were worried about the store closing. They say the store is a local gem, a place for “Hemingway Grove Cooler” smoothies (banana, pineapple, coconut milk and honey), fresh chocolate chip cookies, empanadas and, of course, books. Besides more contemporary titles from Janet Evanovich, Danielle Steel and David Baldacci, there’s a large children’s section with books such as “Little Women” and “Johnny Appleseed” and stuffed toy lions and giraffes.
“I think to lose a store like the bookstore, you start to lose the essence of what the Grove is really about,” said customer Alisa Ferris, who was there on a recent Monday with her friend, Pilar Segovia.
Nearby, denizens sipped coffee, worked on their laptops and played chess. Folks were also browsing the hundreds of titles inside the store.
“It’s a community meeting place. It’s representative of the neighborhood,” Ferris said.
“It’s an icon here,” said Segovia.